Great Teacher Award
From left to right: Interim Provost Timothy Tracy; UK Alumni Association President George Ochs; Great Teacher Award Committee Chairperson Hannah Myers; Karen Badger, associate professor, College of Social Work; Roberta Dwyer, professor, College of Agriculture; Samuel Franklin, assistant professor, College of Medicine; John Grove, professor, College of Agriculture; Armando Prats, professor, College of Arts and Sciences; Gerald Smith, associate professor, College of Arts and Sciences.
Six University of Kentucky professors have recently been named recipients of the UK Alumni Association 2013 Great Teacher Award.
The recipients are:
- Karen Badger, College of Social Work
- Dr. Roberta Dwyer, professor, College of Agriculture
- Samuel Franklin, assistant professor, College of Medicine
- John Grove, professor, College of Agriculture
- Armando Prats, professor, College of Arts & Sciences
- Gerald Smith, associate professor, College of Arts & Sciences
The recipients were honored at the UK Alumni Association Great Teacher Award Recognition Dinner on Feb. 5, 2013. They were also honored on center court of Rupp Arena during the South Carolina vs. Kentucky men’s basketball game that evening.
Karen S. Badger is an associate professor, director of Undergraduate Studies, and associate dean of Academic and Student Affairs in the UK College of Social Work. She is in her eighth year at UK and has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in practice, ethics, civic engagement, administration, the Bachelor of Arts in Social Work capstone course and is involved in interprofessional health care education.
Badger has more than 20 years of social work experience and has practiced in mental health settings, pediatric burns and managed a medical division of social work in a large university hospital. She has previously been recognized as Social Worker of the Year from the National Association of Social Workers – Ohio Region VI and a UK Teacher Who Made a Difference. Her research interests include undergraduate curricula and assessment and the psychosocial adjustment of burn survivors, specifically the role of peer support in burn injury recovery. She collaborates with the Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors and partner organizations, the International Association of Firefighters Burn Foundation and the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation.
Badger earned a bachelor’s degree in music therapy from the University of Dayton and master’s and doctoral degrees in social work from the University of Kentucky.
Dr. Roberta M. Dwyer is a professor in the UK College of Agriculture Department of Veterinary Science. She is also the director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of Veterinary Science where she teaches undergraduate veterinary science courses and is the preveterinary advisor for the university.
She is co-editor of the international publication “Lloyd’s Equine Disease Quarterly,” and consults in biosecurity, equine infectious diseases and agricultural disaster preparedness. She was a co-author of a national program for agricultural emergency operations planning at the local level that has been conducted in 20 states. She also co-authored an online course on animal agrosecurity and emergency management. She is trained as a member of a regional incident management team to respond to disasters. In 2010 she was named the Joe T. Davis Outstanding Advisor, a student nominated distinction given by the UK College of Agriculture.
Dwyer graduated from Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1985 and worked in private practice prior to moving to UK. At UK, she earned her master’s degree in 1990. In 1993 she earned board certification in the American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine. In 2003 she became board certified in the field of veterinary epidemiology.
Samuel R. Franklin is an assistant professor in the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology in the UK College of Medicine. He teaches human gross anatomy to a wide array of students including: medical, physical therapy, physician assistant and undergraduate. He also teaches neuroanatomy and neuroscience to medical and physical therapy students.
At UK Franklin is interested in how innovative education technology and teaching styles can be integrated in a modern biomedical course. Franklin has created how to dissect and regional anatomy review videos for the Web-based Thieme Digital Dissector. He is working to create interprofessional modules that promote communication between physical therapy students and physician assistant students in the gross anatomy laboratory.
Franklin has received the Holsinger Award for Excellence in Teaching for three consecutive years, the Abraham Flexner Master Educator Award in Innovation and Development in 2012 and the Silver Pointer Award for Outstanding Teaching in a first-year medical course in 2012. Franklin especially enjoys teaching in the gross anatomy laboratory as it provides an opportunity to engage with small groups of students and demonstrate anatomical concepts.
Franklin received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Colorado State University in 1999 and 2000. He completed his doctoral thesis in the Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy at Wake Forest University School of Medicine.
John H. Grove is professor of agronomic soil science in the UK College of Agriculture. He is responsible for teaching nutrient management at both undergraduate and graduate levels and world food issues in the Honors Program. He has been a part of the UK faculty since 1981.
Grove’s research interests are in the management of the chemical and physical properties of soils under grain production. This work includes evaluation of spatial and temporal dynamics in nutrient cycling and crop nutrition to give improved nutrient management with greater sustainability and minimal adverse impacts on water quality. He has directed or co-directed 28 graduate students to completion. The applied research serves the outreach needs of the college and has resulted in both refereed and nonrefereed extension publications, as well as oral presentations to Kentucky and regional grower audiences.
He received a bachelor’s degree in physical sciences/chemistry and a master’s degree in soil chemistry from Michigan State University. He received a doctoral degree in agronomy from the University of Georgia.
Armando José Prats is professor of English in the UK College of Arts and Sciences. He came to UK in 1975 as an assistant professor to teach film courses. He is currently in his 38th year of continuous service to the university.
Prats was born in Havana, Cuba, and came to the United States as a political refugee from communism at the age of 13. He has published two books, the latest of which is “Invisible Natives,” a study of the image of the Native American in Hollywood Westerns. He is currently working on the last chapter of a book on Hollywood movies of the Vietnam War. His teaching was recognized in 2000 by the graduate students of the Department of English and, more recently, he was named a Teacher Who Made a Difference in 2011. In 2012, the students of one of his classes presented him with a full-sized, hand-made quilt signed on the reverse side by the students in the class.
He received his Bachelor of Arts with a major in English from the University of Miami and received a Master of Arts and a doctoral degree from the University of Florida.
Gerald L. Smith is associate professor of African-American history in the University of Kentucky College of Arts and Sciences. He also serves as pastor of the Pilgrim Missionary Baptist Church in Lexington.
Smith is the author, editor or co-editor of three books. He has many publications, has been a consultant for various historical projects, appeared in televised historical documentaries and conducted workshops for primary and secondary school teachers. He is currently researching and writing a new general history of African Americans in Kentucky and working as a general co-editor of The Kentucky African American Encyclopedia.
Smith has served on a number of different boards and committees and now serves as vice chairman of the Kentucky African American Heritage Commission. Some of his recent awards include becoming a 2006 inductee into the Henry Clay High School Hall of Fame in Lexington; an inductee into the Martin Luther King, Jr. Collegium of Scholars of Morehouse College; and a recipient of the 2011 Richard H. Collins Award from the Kentucky Historical Society.
Smith earned his bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Kentucky.
What are the Great Teacher Awards?
Each year, the University of Kentucky Alumni Association recognizes six professors for outstanding teaching and honors them with a plaque and a cash award at a recognition luncheon. It is the oldest, continuously-given award for teachers at the University of Kentucky.
The six recipients of the award are announced at a luncheon in the spring, attended by students, other faculty and past recipients of the award.
Since 1961, when the program was started, 253 faculty members have been honored. Recipients are selected by a committee appointed by the UK Alumni Association's Board of Directors and representatives of the student organization Omicron Delta Kappa.
Hold the rank of assistant professor or above and have been a member of the UK faculty for the past three years on the Lexington Campus or in the Chandler Medical Center.
Have superior knowledge of their subject matter.
Have original and innovative classroom presentations.
Demonstrate concern for students, both inside and outside the University setting.
Not have been a recipient of this award for the past ten years.
All Recipients List